MaxWire National Blog

Covering High School Sports in America

Category: Indiana

  • It didn't take long for James Blackmon Jr. to begin his assault on the record books at Marion (Ind.) after transferring from Bishop Luers (Fort Wayne) over the summer.

    Making his Marion debut, the future Indiana Hoosier piled up a school record 54 points in a 102-42 win over Irvington Prep (Indianapolis) on Thanksgiving Eve. Jeff Rabjohns of (@JeffRabjohns) indicated the record total was achieved at the 7:32 mark of the fourth quarter.

    The old record of 52 was held by Blackmon's father and current Marion head coach James Sr. Younger brother Vijay is also on the Giants roster.

    Blackmon Jr. averaged 33.3 points per game as a junior at Bishop Luers, including games of 45, 44 (twice) and 42.

    With seven state titles – including a three-peat from 1985-87 – Marion is one of Indiana's storied high school programs and Blackmon Sr. is a major part of that legacy. He was runner-up to Steve Alford in 1983 for the state's famed Mr. Basketball award before playing at Kentucky.

  • Over two years after a plane crash that took the lives of his father and stepmother and left him seriously injured, Loyola (Los Angeles) senior and Michigan basketball signee Austin Hatch held a press conference Wednesday to address his recovery and future.

    Making Hatch's story even more tragic and remarkable, he also survived a 2003 plane crash that claimed the life of his mother.

    The Indiana native – who signed with Michigan last week after a longstanding verbal commitment to the school – transferred to Loyola over the summer and was granted an additional year of eligibility by the CIF. Access to medical facilities key to his rehabilitation was the primary reason for his relocation.

    He was originally slated to graduate with the 2013 class but recovery from the accident wiped out what would have been his junior year at Fort Wayne Canterbury (Ind.).

    Hatch is listed at 6-foot-6 and 225 pounds on Loyola's 2013-14 roster. He will join a loaded Cubs squad that already includes Arizona point guard commitment Parker Jackson-Cartwright and UCLA-bound 7-footer Thomas Welsh.

    Our Jake Downey was on hand at Loyola on Wednesday and wrote, produced and edited the video piece above.
  • File photo by Warren Robison

    Jake Purichia, Indianapolis Cardinal Ritter

    Jake Purichia of Indianapolis Cardinal Ritter (Indianapolis, Ind.) threw a 13-yard touchdown pass to Jake Hagan in a 35-10 win over Speedway, making him the all-time touchdown pass leader in Indiana.

    Purichia, a four-year starter at Cardinal Ritter, has 131 career touchdown passes, putting him one ahead of Jake Schiff of Evansville Mater Dei, who had 130 between 1998 and 2001. Schiff is the state all-time yardage leader with 12,195 yards.

    Purichia entered the game with 10,122 career yards. He entered Friday's game with 2,694 yards passing on the season.

    Cardinal Ritter advances to play Scecina Memorial in the Indiana Class 2A state quarterfinals next week.

  • The lopsided 55-7 first-round Section 30 win for Hamilton Heights (Arcadia, Ind.) over Lawrenceburg wasn't particular memorable until an overhand pitch from quarterback Monte Reed was mishandled by Grant Weatherford in the second quarter.

    Courtesy photo

    Grant Weatherford

    The dynamic 6-foot-1, 190-pound wide receiver did the rest with a seen-to-be-believed 56-yard touchdown run that looked like it had disaster written all over it. See it above. 

    See box score from game

    Weatherford retrieved the ball at the 35, retreated all the way to the 21, evaded at least seven would-be tacklers and by the time he reached midfield, he was gone.

    See TV replay

    Weatherford, who already has interest from Purdue, Nebraska and Cincinnati according to 247Sports, also scored on a 25-yard reception and 81-yard kickoff return. He has 41 catches for 982 yards and 15 touchdowns.

    Hamilton Heights (8-2) advanced to second-round play Friday against Indian Creek (8-2).

    See Indiana 3A playoff bracket
  • The best rusher in Indiana high school football history is now Sammy Mireles.

    According to the Herald Bulletin, the Elwood (Ind.) senior captured one of the state's most prestigious records when he broke a 24-yard run in the third quarter. He passed the record of 7,560 set in 2000.

    MaxPreps stats have him at 7,693 for his career.

    Photo courtesy of
    Mireles carried the ball 34 times for 350 yards and five touchdowns in a 49-42 victory over rival Alexandria, and the man whose record he broke, Otis Shannon (a graduate of Indianapolis Cathedral in 2001), was in attendance.

    “I’m actually excited. Just to even have a record in any state, let alone Indiana with all the tradition and great athletes we’ve had here, it’s beyond cool to have somebody break a record of yours that’s an all-time record," Shannon told the newspaper. "Hopefully, he’ll take it over 8,000 (yards) and take his team to a championship. And then he can come back and give a ball away like I did to the next kid who breaks the record.”

    His coach also delivered praise, according to the story.

    “It was a great night for Sammy, a great night for the team, a great night for our school and a great night for the community," coach Marty Wells was quoted as saying.

  • It was a record-setting eight days for North Central (Farmersburg, Ind.) running back Chase VanSchoyck.

    A week ago, VanSchoyck broke the state record for rushing yards in a game with 581 in a 71-50 victory over Eastern Greene.

    On Friday, VanSchoyck added the single-game touchdown and points record to his resume by rushing for 10 touchdowns and a two-point conversion in a 93-20 win over Riverton Parke. The 10 touchdowns breaks the old mark of nine set by Walter Peacock of Shortridge (Indianapolis) in 1971. VanSchoyck's 62 points also top Peacock's total of 60.

    According to the National Federation of High Schools record book, the 10 rushing touchdowns ranks in a five-way tie for fourth place on the all-time list. John Cook of Beatrice (Neb.) set the record with 13 touchdowns in 1912.

    For the season, VanSchoyck has run 144 times for 1,892 yards and 28 touchdowns, including 17 in the last two games. He's scored 33 total touchdowns and has 212 points. His point total and touchdown total currently lead the nation, according to the MaxPreps leaderboards.
  • File photo by Warren Robison

    Ben Davis defeated the state's top-ranked team, Center Grove, on Friday night.

    Center Grove (Greenwood, Ind.) entered the Xcellent 25 on Monday after racing to a 6-0 start.

    The team's stay in the rankings will likely be short, after Ben Davis (Indianapolis) became the first team to beat Center Grove this season, winning 37-20 on the road on Friday night.

    According to Kyle Neddenriep of the Indianapolis Star, Center Grove trailed by just three, 16-13, entering the third quarter.

    Then Mike Kirschner's squad began to pull away, ratting off three unanswered touchdowns to take a 37-13 lead.

    Center Grove managed another score, but the nation's No. 24-ranked team would get no closer.

    After beginning the season 2-2, with losses coming to St. Xavier (Cincinnati) and Warren Central (Indianapolis), Ben Davis has now won three straight games as the playoffs near.

    Next week, Center Grove will look to get back in the win column with a game against North Central.

  • Unless a high school football game goes to overtime, rarely, if at all, do the co-captains meet at midfield after 48 minutes of action.

    But this wasn't really a game as it was a tribute.

    LaPorte (LaPorte, Ind.) High School, just 48 hours after teammate Jake West died of cardiac arrest on the practice field due to an enlarged heart, traveled to Merrillville for a regular-season contest.

    As this outstanding video reveals, Jake's memory was honored at every corner of the stadium – his number was on the side of helmets, fans wore sweatshirts and t-shirts with his number and name on the back.

    And in a moving tribute, right before the action began, LaPorte players huddled close, held the side of their helmets for a second and then pointed to the sky to acknowledge their friend and teammate, described by all as a kind, vivacious, giving lad.

    They also carried Jake's jersey out to midfield during the coin toss and it was later presented to his sister Courtney West by players Drew Kessler and Noah Boardman.

    "It was just awesome," friend and teammate John Shuble told the "I'm speechless. I can't say how awesome that was. It felt like Jake was with us the whole time."

    Said LaPorte coach Bob Schellinger: "It was really tough. Jake was awesome. These kids went through something this week that most adults have never gone through, watching a friend pass away right in front of them. And the way that they have handled it has just been tremendous. I'm so proud of these kids."

    To finish things off — following Merriville's 34-13 victory — a No. 26 flag that flew high on a flagpole throughout the game, was taken down and presented to captains Shuble and Mike Ash by the Merriville captains at midfield. The players shook hands and embraced.

    It capped off a very touching and sportsmanlike contest.

    Schellinger gave major kudos to Merriville athletic director Janis Qualizza and Merriville coach Zac Wells after the game. "You talk about class acts," he told Herald Argus reporter Zack Eldridge.

    Those acts were contagious throughout the night.
    Screen shot from YouTube

    Merrillvile players present a flag to LaPorte players with Jake West's No. 26, following the home team's 34-13 victory.

  • Updated 3:07 p.m. Sept. 26

    According to reports, the city's coroner said on Thursday that Jake died of right ventricular cardiomyopathy, known simply as an enlarged heart.

    Another tragedy has struck a nation's high school football team.

    Jake West, a 17-year-old linebacker on the LaPorte (Ind.) football team, died of cardiac arrest Wednesday after collapsing during practice.

    According to several reports, West was running laps in gear on the track when he fell. Coaches and bystanders immediately performed CPR and a defibrillator was also used. West's pulse, according to reports, was temporarily restored.

    But LaPorte County Coroner John Sullivan told that West was rushed to IU Health LaPorte Hospital where he perished.

    Twitter messages and Facebook pages have been filled with an outpouring of love and support for the popular junior.

    "R.I.P., Jake West, I love you man," LaPorte teammate Jarrett Gentry wrote. "Best teammate I could ask for."

    Another Facebook comment read: "You were the kind of guy I wanted to be. Always full of enthusiasm, with a presence of joy wherever you went. … You were such a sweet and funny guy."

    West is at least the third football player in the last two weeks to die, two which occurred on the field.

    On Sept. 16, Damon Janes, a junior at Westfield/Brocton (N.Y.) died at Women & Children's Hospital of Buffalo after he lost consciousness from a helmet-to-helmet collision in a Sept. 13 game. Westfield/Brocton announced this week it has cancelled the rest of its season.

    On Friday, Broadwater (Townsend, Mont.) senior football player Dakota Kimbrough, 18, was killed in a single-vehicle accident four hours before his team's homecoming game. Three other football players, including a 15-year-old driver, were in the Ford pickup and were transported to a local hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. The game and all homecoming festivities were cancelled.
  • Three years ago, the rebuilding Indiana University basketball program had commitments from two of the nation's premier freshmen.

    Courtesy USA Basketball

    James Blackmon Jr.

    Today the Hoosiers have no firm commitments from the Class of 2014 because 6-foot-10 Trey Lyles from Arsenal Tech (Indianapolis, Ind.) de-committed last August and on Thursday 6-3 shooting guard James Blackmon Jr. from Marion (Ind.) told numerous outlets he wants to look around some more.

    It's pretty obvious that kids should not commit so early in their prep careers. What's the hurry, anyway? It even puts pressure on the college coaches, because now they have to "babysit" the young commitments while continuing  to search for upperclassmen.

    Blackmon is ranked as the No. 46 player in the country by 247Sports, but after a terrific summer he should climb up the list. He averaged 33.4 points last year at Bishop Luers (Fort Wayne, Ind.) before his father, James Blackmon Sr., took the head coaching position at his prep alma mater, Marion.

    Courtesy of 247Sports

    Trey Lyles

    The next day after Blackmon's announcement, Kentucky - his father's college alma mater- put in a call. He has plenty of other offers.

    Blackmon told the Indianapolis Star, "Crean (Indiana coach Tom Crean) told me to take a look, but he feels like I should be at IU and he wants to coach me. That's basically it. He's a great coach. I just want to make sure I'm making the right decision."

    It wouldn't be shocking of Lyles and Blackmon both end up at the same school. Kentucky, along with Florida and Louisville, are reportedly the top suitors for Lyles, the No. 12 recruit in country.